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Alms Tax (Zakat) » Miscellaneous rulings on zakat → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Criteria for being entitled to receive (mustaḥiqq) zakat

Alms Tax (Zakat) » Intention (niyyah) for giving zakat

Ruling 1971. A person must give zakat with the intention of qurbah, i.e. in humility to the Lord of the worlds. If he gives zakat without the intention of qurbah, it is sufficient [in the sense that he will be deemed as having given the zakat that was obligatory on him], although he will have committed a sin. Furthermore, he must specify in his intention whether what he is giving is zakat on property or zakāt al-fiṭrah.(1) In fact, if, for example, zakat on wheat and barley is obligatory on him and he wants to pay a sum of money equal to the value of the zakat on them, he must specify whether he is paying zakat that is due on the wheat or on the barley.

Ruling 1972. If it is obligatory on a person to give zakat on various items and he gives some zakat without specifying in his intention which item it relates to, in the event that the thing he has given is of the same type as one of the items, it will be counted as zakat of that particular thing. For example, if it is obligatory on him to give zakat on forty sheep and on fifteen mithqāls of gold, and he gives one sheep as zakat without specifying in his intention if it is zakat of the sheep or the gold, then it will be counted as zakat of the sheep. However, if he gives some silver coins or notes of money (i.e. a different type of commodity to sheep and gold), then, according to some [jurists], it must be divided between both of them [i.e. for paying both the zakat on the sheep and on the gold]. However, this is problematic [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, it does not suffice], and it is probable that it cannot be counted as zakat for any of them and that it remains the owner’s property.

Ruling 1973. If a person appoints someone as his agent to give away the zakat of his property, he must make the intention when he hands over the zakat to him. And the recommended precaution is that he should maintain that intention until the zakat reaches the poor.

(1) The rules concerning zakāt al-fiṭrah are mentioned in Ruling 2003 and onwards.
Alms Tax (Zakat) » Miscellaneous rulings on zakat → ← Alms Tax (Zakat) » Criteria for being entitled to receive (mustaḥiqq) zakat
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